Wieden+Kennedy Is Now A Media-Buying Shop?

Portland-based Wieden+Kennedy is well known for its creative work on such accounts as Old Spice, Southern Comfort, Nike and many others. It's not well known as a media-buying shop -- but that, apparently, is exactly what it has become after winning the media-buying and planning portion of Intuit's TurboTax account away from Interpublic's Initiative Media. The Portland office will handle planning, and the New York office will handle buying.

W+K won the creative portion of TurboTax back in July. Is the media-buying agency argument that scale matters dead? I, for one, can say firsthand it never had legs -- having worked in a two-person media department that bested large media-buying shops on a routine basis. I know this because I had access to a certain media outlet's sales data. Don't ask me how I did. I just did. And that's not to say that W+K doesn't have scale. Plus, they've got media vet Tom Winner (pictured).

Can your agency live without email for a day? LA-based Zambezi did and lived to tell the tale. Founding Director Chris Raih tells of how his agency planned for and succeeded in eliminating email and other forms of electronic communication for 24 hours. In-person contact, phone calls and video chat were allowed with outside partners. The result? Raih writes: "Immediately, we saw a spike in the number of spontaneous meetings that took place around the office. People left their desks far more frequently and conversed with coworkers that they typically wouldn't otherwise, and there were certainly more phone calls to our clients and vendors. The agency was literally buzzing - more so than the average workday." Could your agency survive a day without email?

Have you heard enough about the Publicis Omnicom merger yet? Of course you have -- but that doesn't mean people are going to stop talking about it. Sick as you may be of the topic, some of what people have to say on the subject has merit. Not that any of what he has to say is earth-shattering but PGI Global Marketing VP and former Saatchi, Tribal DDB, OMD, Euro RSCG and Kirshenbaum, Bond & Partners exec Jeff Perkins makes some salient points as to why the Publicis Omnicon merger is a bad idea. Chiefly, he thinks the merger has nothing to do with improving client work and everything to do with reducing overhead in the form of layoffs. And all those layoffs -- and the lead-up to them -- succeed in doing is adding a layer of stress between agency and client. He goes into greater detail about client conflicts, creative drain and lack of efficiency.

Israeli-based performance marketing agency Matomy aims to raise as much as $100 million in equity through private investment or IPO. Matomy, which counts American Express, AT&T and HSBC as clients, is a performance-based ad network that has expanded its offerings into the agency space with the acquisition of digital media agency MediaWhiz and into the mobile space with the acquisition of mobile affiliate network MobAff. Matomy Chairman Ilan Shiloach is head of McCann Worldgroup Israel and holds a 29 percent stake in Matomy.

And the mad rush to Brazil continues. In reaction to Brazil hosting the World Cup next year and the Olympic Games in 2016, agencies are rushing into the market with acquisitions, partnerships and openings. The latest development comes from Dentsu's 360i which is opening an office in Sao Paulo this week. 360i will partner with Lov, which Dentsu bought last year. Of the move, 360i CEO Chairman and CEO Bryan Wiener said: "We identify a market, talk to our clients, and find a partner and work with them on a couple assignments, then launch. We have a lot of demand from existing clients who will be involved in the World Cup and the Olympics."

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  • Slow News Day Special: Toronto Ad Agencies Make This Toronto Neighborhood Cool

    So Monday was Columbus Day in America. Or, as some would have it, Indigenous Peoples Day. Whatever your position may be regarding the day some Italian dude working for the Spanish landed nowhere near America and enslaved the natives, most of you were not at work. And when the advertising industry isn't at work, there isn't much news being made. 

    And when there isn't much news being made, there isn't much to write about in this column. And so I bring you this little tidbit. Did you know that Toronto ad agencies are part of the reason the King West neighborhood in Toronto was named one of the 5 neighborhoods to stay in when visiting Toronto?  

    Yes, it's true. The Toronto blog blogTO describes the King West neighborhood thusly: "This condo dense Toronto neighborhood is filled with ad agency workers during weekdays and revelers on weekend nights. While there are a slew of bars and restaurants dotting King West, the area is also home to historic architecture, some of the city's best chefs and of course, a large chunk of the entertainment district." 

    It only makes sense that ad folk are followed by a wake of cool wherever they may go. So if you are one of these cool ad folk who work in one of these Toronto ad agencies, you can pat yourselves on the back for contributing to your neighborhood getting selected for this list. 

    Of course, now you'll have to deal with all those pesky pedestrian tourists getting in your way as you rush to Starbucks for your Iced, half caff, ristretto, venti, 4-pump, sugar free, cinnamon, dolce soy skinny latte.

  • Ad Blockers Got You Down? Time to Up Your PR And Content Marketing Efforts

    Unless you've been asleep for the last six months, you're well aware there's been a lot of hand wringing in advertising circles over the seemingly sudden increase in use of ad blockers. Chiefly, that increased attention came from Apple's allowance of mobile ad blockers in Safari, but ad blocking in general has been on the rise for quite some time. 

    It's a forgone conclusion that marketers and their advertising agencies, much like a determined athlete, will find a way around or through ad blockers despite increasingly insurmountable odds. Publishers, of course, will join this fight -- since advertising revenue is their lifeblood ever since the Internet made free everything commonplace. 

    Luckily, advertising isn't the only thing that makes the marketing world go round. Remember public relations? Yup. And while public relations (or, as today's buzzword dictionary would have it, earned media) won't necessarily solve a starving publisher's problems, it will help get a marketer's word out to market by circumventing ad blockers. 

    So too will content marketing and native advertising (which will help publishers stay afloat). Writing in an Advertising Age article entitled "The Solution to Ad Blocking Is to Double-Down on Earned Media," Edelman Chief Content Strategist Steve Rubel wrote: "We may look back on this time as the beginning of the great era of earned media." 

    As an example of that potential new era, Rubel points to the effect that time-shifted viewing had on certain ad models, writing: "This is what happened ten years ago in TV when TiVo and DVRs encouraged widespread ad-skipping. This arguably helped give rise to subscription services like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime -- which ushered in binge-watching. And it also created a robust market for branded entertainment and product placement. Both of which are thriving today." 

    Regarding the potential rise of content marketing and native advertising, Metia Managing Director Mark Pinsent wrote: "As ad blocking technology's use increases and becomes more sophisticated, more companies are going to be looking at alternative ways of getting their messages to the audience. I fully expect this to result in an increased focus on marketing through content that has genuine use to the audience, and delivering it to people in a highly-targeted way. People say that they don't like being marketed to. I don't believe that (which kinda comes with the territory!) What people don't like is bad marketing: irrelevant, low-quality, poorly-targeted, overly interruptive." 

    Will content marketing and native advertising save the day? Well, if the number of attendees at Content Marketing World and Hubspot's Inbound conferences in September are any indication, there sure are a hell of a lot of people looking to learn how to deploy non-advertising-style advertising for the brands they represent.  

    There are, of course, other ad-blocker free roads marketers can travel, much of which wend their way through social media properties like Facebook's Instant Articles, Instagram's in-stream advertising, Twitter's Promoted post, Snapchat ads and more. Whether are not those channels are capable of filling in the gap left by ad blocked online media -- not to mention the waning effectiveness of TV advertising -- is a wait-and-see game.  

    It's quite clear, however, that the challenge ad blockers will foist upon advertisers and publishers will far outstrip those posed by banner blindness.

  • The Average Age Of A Creative Is 28, While The Average New Car Buyer Is 56 - That's A Problem.

    In a Washington Post article entitled "I’m 60. My boss is a 20-something. It’s awkward," 60-year-old Lisa Reswick discusses the trials, tribulations and challenges of working in an office where she takes orders from a boss whose mother is younger than she is. 

    She, of course, is one of the lucky ones. Especially in the youth-obsessed advertising industry where age discrimination runs rampant, with most everyone over the age of 30 experiencing age discrimination in one form or another. And where most anyone over 40 is basically banned from working inside an ad agency.

    Age discrimination is bad enough for those who are of a certain age and doing all they can to "stay relevant" in a world that values youth over wisdom. But ad agency employees are not the only ones suffering from age discrimination in the marketing space. Brands do too. 

    Reswick explains, writing: “This obsession with young talent may be short-sighted...people older than 50 have double the discretionary spending power of any other age group. The average head of household is 52. The average new car buyer is 56. The average Mac user is 54. So marketers must appeal to older consumers and may soon regret banishing everyone who saw the Beatles sing 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' live on the 'Ed Sullivan Show.' In your 20s and 30s, it’s pretty hard to understand the mind-set, needs and tastes of those decades older."

    Yes, the AARP has launched an ad agency specifically to help brands promote their products to the over 50 crowd, but that's not enough. 

    We need to do more. 

    Just how well do you think a 28-year-old can connect with a 56-year-old? Oh sure, the 28-year-old can refer to reams of research that will point to behaviors, traits and other indicators that might shed light on an effective marketing approach, but that's far removed from walking in that 56-year-old's shoes. 

    It's time for us all to dump the "clueless old person" attitude and realize these supposedly clueless old people have years and years and years of valuable experience that can be tapped for the betterment of the work that an agency does for its clients. 

    Because, let's be honest -- not every consumer is under 30. And face this fact: By 2020, it’s expected that 25% of U.S. workers will be older than 55. And they have a lot of money. Way more money, on average, than that hipster 32-year-old with whom you're so obsessed.

  • This Agency Turned Two New Hires Into Pez Dispensers

    Red Tettemer O'Connell + Partners has had a long tradition of welcoming new hires in interesting and inventive ways. Once the agency welcomed new hires by carving totem poles in their likeness.

    This week, the agency welcomed new creatives, Ron Villacarillo and Ben Levy, by creating actual, working Pez dispensers in their likeness. Check out a video of the Pez dispenser creations here.

    Villacarillo will join the agency as creative director/art director and will work on the agency's Dockers and Morningstar Farms clients. His past experience includes work at TBWA/Chiat/Day, McCann, CP+B and The Martin Agency. Levy will join the agency as creative director/copywriter and will work on the agency's Planet Fitness, T Rowe Price and Under Armour accounts. He joins the agency from Havas New York.

  • This Israeli Ad Agency May Have Solved All-Male Conference Panel Problem

    We've all seen it. Conference after conference where panel after panel consist solely of men. Well, Hana Rado, COO of Israeli ad agency McCann Tel Aviv, has come up with a solution to the problem. 

    Rado along with several others at her agency have launched Persona, a Web site on which qualified female speakers across many different fields are profiled. The site lists some 700 women so far. Mitt "binders of women" Romney would be proud. 

    The effort and the site also involve campaigning against conferences that under-represent women on panels by contacting some of the high-level attendees at these conferences, informing them of the gender gap and asking them not to attend these events which underrepresent women. The campaign also includes positive outreach making conference organizers aware of the many qualified women who could attend and present and many conferences. 

  • 70% of Agency Employees Want to Quit Because Their Managers Are Incompetent

    A recent study conducted by Campaign found over one-third (37%) of the ad agency workforce described morale at their agency as "low" or "dangerously low" and 70% said they were "actively job seeking."

    WTF? Seventy percent of the entire ad agency world is looking for a new job! No wonder everything is a mess. And things are not getting better. Close to 60% of survey respondents stated morale is lower this year than it was last year.

    According to the study, the biggest problem is poor management. Survey respondents were quoted as saying management is filled with "ego-driven, self-fulfilling, all-about-me attitudes," work is filled with "rush projects, poorly planned projects and lack of project direction" as well as "politics and sexism."

    Of course those making a healthy salary (over $100,000) reported morale problems at a lower rate (32%) as compared to those making salaries between $50,000 and $100,000 of whom 40% reported morale problems.

  • This New York Agency Will Bust Ass All Night Producing Pro Bono Work For CreateAthon

    It's always nice to see ad agencies do their part when it comes to charitable work. New York-based EGC, for the seventh year in a row, will participate in CreateAthon. 

    CreateAthon is a 24-hour creative event to benefit charities across the globe. Over 100 ad agencies around the globe have participated in an annual marathon creative event during which they donate talent to help nonprofits raise funds and awareness. More than 1,300 non-profits have been served, receiving nearly $17 million of agency work.  

    EGC, the only New York agency to participate, will work well into the night and regroup the next day to present their ideas, digital campaigns, and marketing programs to participating charities. 

    The work EGC does this year will benefit Hope For Youth, a foster care group for kids and the Long Island Coalition against Domestic Violence.

  • Havas Worldwide Interviews Job Candidate On A Ferris Wheel

    Last month several top executives from Havas Worldwide took over six gondolas on the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel in Chicago to conduct interviews. Each candidate was given two rotations to make their pitch to executives. 

    Of the approach, Havas CEO Paul Marobella said: “It’s a street fight for talent." Marobella was looking to fill about 50 positions at the agency.

    Marobella aligned the stunt with the decommissioning of the current Navy Pier Ferris Wheel in favor of a newer, more high tech version by saying: “Modernizing and contemporizing American brands is what we get out of bed for in the morning.” 

    One interviewee, Julie Shah said the Ferris wheel interview improved her performance saying: “I think sometimes when you’re in an interview you don’t always remember all the things you’re supposed to say -- you forget parts of yourself, tidbits that really push that interview forward. And this time I actually remembered because I was so excited throughout.”

  • Agency Un-Crops Popular Album Covers to Reveal Shocking 'Realities'

    This is just too much fun. UK-based ad agency Aptitude has released a collection of photos that imagine a broader world behind the images we've seen on popular album covers.  

    We've got a pensive Justin Bieber on the cover of his "My World" album. All is well until the image is zoomed out to reveal what's really going on. Bieber in cuffs getting arrested by a police officer. 

    We've got Adele on the cover of 19, which, when zoomed out, reveals her to actually have been in some kind of zombie movie. We've got that baby from the cover of that Nirvana album who looks as happy as can be...until we zoom out and realize he's about to be eaten by sharks.

    Check them all out here

  • This Agency Is Spending $20 Million On Jennifer Aniston To Boost Flights For This Airline

    Was that a silly enough teaser headline for you? Sorry, sometimes I just have to get my BuzzFeedy Clickhole on. Anyway, on with the story. RKCR/Y&R has hired Jennifer Aniston to help the agency boost business for its client, Emirates airline.  

    This week, the agency unveiled a new campaign for the airline featuring Aniston in a TV spot waking up from a dream on a plane and, to her horror, finding out the airline doesn't have showers or a bar. Of course, in her dream, she's not on an Emirates plane, but of course, when she wakes up, she is and all is well with the world. Or at least those who can afford to fly on planes with showers and a bar.  

    Of the approach, Emirates SVP of Corporate Communications Boutros Boutros said: “In a departure from the usual airline industry ads, we chose to take a humorous approach to showcase the amazing products we offer on board. We couldn’t think of anyone better suited for the role than Jennifer Aniston and we wrote the script with her in mind. Her professionalism and comedic talent shone on the set and we are very pleased with the outcome.”  

    The commercial was directed by industry vet and Oscar-nominee Bryan Buckley, who is well known for creating several successful Super Bowl ads. RKCR/Y&R London developed the concept while the script was a collaboration between the agency, Buckley and Emirates’ in-house advertising team.

    The global digital and television campaign will begin in the United States and the UAE before being rolled out in November to other countries including the UK, Germany, France, Italy, India and Australia.

    Emirates is allocating $20 to the worldwide campaign which will consist of :30's and :60's.

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